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The Whitman at Ample Hills
Photograph: Courtesy Peter Petracca

Find the best birthday cake in NYC

From celebratory single-sheets to multi-layered marvels and we've found the best birthday cake in NYC!

Written by
Lauren Rothman
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There are plenty of ways to celebrate a birthday in New York: summer concerts in the park, or a breezy night out at one of the city's rooftop bars for example. But no party is complete without one essential item: a decadent, over-the-top birthday cake. Whether you want a classic layer or fudgy icebox, these bakeries have got you covered. Read on to discover the best birthday from some of the best bakeries.

Find the best birthday cake in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Upper East Side

The ultimate birthday option for chocoholics, this towering cake is a full-on cocoa assault. Four layers of moist chocolate cake are spread with chocolate-pudding filling, slathered in fudge frosting and sprinkled with chocolate cake-crumbs for a chocolate bomb guests are sure to love.

(6-inch cake for $36; 8-inch cake for $49)

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • East Village
True to its name, this kaleidoscopic Funfetti-style cake is the quintessential birthday treat. Three layers of rainbow sprinkled cake are sandwiched with three thick layers of super-rich vanilla frosting; the top of the cake is crowned with balls of crunchy cake crumble.

(6-inch cake for $42)
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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Red Hook

This cake nails that sweet and salty combination we all love, soaking three super-moist layers of chocolate sponge with salted caramel and then frosting the whole thing in chocolate-caramel whipped ganache. The icing on the cake—so to speak—is a final dusting of sea salt and coarse sugar.

(6-inch cake for $47, 10-inch cake for $58, 12-inch cake for $77)

The Whitman at Ample Hills
Photograph: Courtesy Peter Petracca
  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Prospect Heights

Layer cakes are fun and all, but for some birthday honorees, ice cream is the way to go. The Brooklyn ice creamery gets its name from a Walt Whitman poem, and this decadent birthday cake definitely captures the poet’s joie de vivre. A rich brownie base is spread with fudge, then covered in vanilla-bean ice cream; another layer of fudge forms the base for a layer of  salted-caramel ice cream. Whipped cream and sprinkles are a final, joyous flourish.

(6-inch cake for $45, 9-inch cake for $65)

Chocolate icebox at Billy’s Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Julie Donovan
  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Chelsea

Another fun departure from the standard layer cake comes from this adorably old-school bakeshop with three NYC locations. A simple but delicious combo of chocolate wafer cookies layered with plenty of cocoa whipped cream, the cake is chilled for a smooth, insanely rich treat that guests will clamor for.

($55)

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Pistachio at Sugar Sweet Sunshine
Photograph: Courtesy Sugar Sweet Sunshine
  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Lower East Side

This favorite of the cupcake crowd also bakes up gorgeous layer cakes. Our favorite is the pistachio: three moist, nutty layers of pistachio cake slathered with buttercream and sprinkled with chopped nuts.

(7-inch cake for $38, 9-inch cake for $54)

Red velvet at Betty Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Katya Hall
  • Restaurants
  • Boerum Hill

This Brooklyn stalwart offers a range of birthday cakes, from simple layer cakes to fully customized designs. When we’re jonesing for the former, we opt for Betty’s flawless red velvet, three layers of moist cocoa-tinged cake layered with impossibly fluffy cream-cheese icing.

(6-inch cake for $50, 8-inch cake for $75)

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Custom at City Cakes
Photograph: Courtesy City Cake
  • Restaurants
  • Chelsea

When you’re throwing a themed celebration, sometimes you need a really out-there cake. Whether you’re looking for a cake version of a designer handbag, a bottle of bourbon or a baby-blue electric guitar, City Cake’s talented baker-sculptors will be able to create it for you. These cakes come at a price—typically a $500 minimum for 25 servings—but for a hyper-specific bash, they can be the ideal showstopper.

($500 and up)

Find places to celebrate and dance

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